Commons Gate

Speeches and parliamentary questions in the House of Commons in the 2009 -2010 Session

While speaking in the chamber of the House is a high profile activity for an MP, much other work is done elsewhere, in committee, as well as a large casework load for constituents.
 

A backbencher speaks for his constituents

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08/04/10 Oils: Waste Disposal
08/04/10 Electricity Demand/Capacity
30/03/10 Energy: Conservation
30/03/10 Hunting with Dogs
29/03/10 Energy: Conservation
25/03/10 Neuromuscular Services: West Midlands
25/03/10 Carbon Emissions: Housing
24/03/10 Health Services
24/03/10 Richard D. Hall
23/03/10 Carbon Emissions: Housing
23/03/10 Railways: Freight
22/03/10 Nature Conservation
22/03/10 Neuromuscular Services: West Midlands
22/03/10 Muscular Dystrophy: West Midlands
22/03/10 Community Health Services
22/03/10 Railways: Safety
17/03/10 Oils: Waste Disposal
17/03/10 Animal Welfare
15/03/10 Community Health Services
10/03/10 International Financial Transactions
10/03/10 Grassroots Grants
08/03/10 Deportation: Democratic Republic of Congo
04/03/10 Waste Disposal: EC Action
03/03/10 Home Education: school attendance orders
02/03/10 Blaydon: Crime
02/03/10 No-Fault Liability Scheme (Miners' Knee)
25/02/10 Leukaemia: Drugs
25/02/10 Home Education
25/02/10 Coal: Electricity
24/02/10 Energy Debate
23/02/10 Blaydon: Children, Schools and Families
22/02/10 Cerebrospinal: Multiple Sclerosis
22/02/10 Primary Care Trusts: Procurement
22/02/10 NHS: Training
22/02/10 NHS: preferred provider
22/02/10 Blaydon: Work and Pensions
22/02/10 Industrial Diseases: Compensation
22/02/10 Blaydon: Defence
10/02/10 Mining: Pensions
10/02/10 Blaydon: Energy and Climate Change
10/02/10 Blaydon:Equality
09/02/10 Blaydon: Transport
09/02/10 Blaydon: Culture, Media and Sport
08/02/10 Blaydon:Justice
08/02/10 Blaydon: Treasury
08/02/10 International Whaling Commission
08/02/10 Blaydon: Environment
05/02/10 Tax Allowances
04/02/10 Blaydon: Economy
04/02/10 Blaydon: Health improvements
01/02/10 Micro-Combined Heat and Power
28/01/10 Combined Heat and Power: Finance
28/01/10 Probation: contact time
28/01/10 Network Rail: Manpower
28/01/10 Carbon Capture and Storage
27/01/10 Health Services: Reciprocal Arrangements
27/01/10 Probation
27/01/10 National Offender Management Service
25/01/10 Liquefied Petroleum Gas: Distribution
25/01/10 Badman Report
18/01/10 Aminatou Haidar
14/01/10 Electric vehicles
14/01/10 Pleural Plaques - Departmental responsibility
13/01/10 Energy Security
12/01/10 Electric Cables
07/01/10 Northern Rail: Rolling Stock
06/01/10 Pleural plaques compensation
05/01/10 North East: Neuromuscular Services
16/12/09 Teesside Steel Industry
15/12/09 Badman Report (Blaydon)
14/12/09 Electrical cables
14/12/09 NHS: Finance
14/12/09 NHS Business Services Authority
14/12/09 'Tobin' Tax
09/12/09 NHS: Finance
09/12/09 Listed Sporting Events
08/12/09 Schools: Electricity
07/12/09 Pipeline Capacity
07/12/09 NHS IT Programme
30/11/09 Caffeine: Young People
30/11/09 HM Courts Service: Manpower
26/11/09 National Probation Trust Programme: Expenditure
23/11/09 The situation in Iraq


 

Commons Hansard
8 Apr 2010

Oils: Waste Disposal

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what volume of waste oils has been exported to (a) Germany, (b) Italy and (c) other EU member states (i) in total and (ii) for re-refining in the last three years. [325730]

Dan Norris, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: The following tables show the data requested.

Total exported
Tonnes
Italy Germany Other EU member states
20070257.756370.41
20080280.2413104.52
200905090.898588.16
20100324.723250.14

Total exported for re-refining
Tonnes
Italy Germany Other EU member states
20070257.754261.17
2008005287.83
200905090.895884.79
20100184.280

This data was obtained from the Environment Agency's National Transfrontier Shipments (NaTS) Database on 1 April 2010. NaTS records the details of all shipments of waste notified under the Waste Shipment Regulation (EC1013/2006/EC).

The data for 2009-10 are currently an incomplete data set so these will be subject to change as data are received.

Mr. Dave Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with representatives of the waste oil regeneration industry on promotion of investment in regeneration of waste oils. [325770]

Dan Norris: DEFRA continues to maintain regular contact with the waste oil industry on a variety of issues affecting the management of waste oil.

Representatives of the waste oil processing industry are members of the Stakeholder Group relating to the transposition of the revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC), including the provisions in article 4 on the waste hierarchy and article 21 on waste oils. They were also involved in the Hazardous Waste Steering Group, which helped advise on the recently published Strategy for Hazardous Waste Management in England.

Informal discussions with the sector indicate that proposed investors in regeneration continue to watch the market situation in the UK and greater re-refining remains a possibility.

Mr. Dave Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has undertaken a life cycle assessment of the environmental impact arising from the export of waste oils for re-refining. [325771]

Dan Norris: DEFRA has not commissioned specific studies on the life cycle assessment of the environmental impact arising from the export of waste oils for re-refining. However, we are aware of the following life cycle studies:

GEIR (Groupement Europeen de l'Industrie de la Regeneration, part of the Independent Union of the European Lubricants industry) report: Ecological and energetic assessment of re-refining used oils to base oils: Substitution of primarily produced base oils including semi-synthetic and synthetic compounds:

http://www.geir-rerefining.org/documents/LCA_en_short_version.pdf

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Group on Waste Prevention and Recycling report: Improving Recycling Markets:

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/24/14/35582045.pdf

The European Commission report: Critical Review Of Existing Studies And Life Cycle Analysis On The Regeneration And Incineration Of Waste Oils:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/studies/oil/waste_oil_xsum.pdf

House Speech Contents  Return to Homepage


 

Commons Hansard
8 Apr 2010

Electricity Demand/Capacity

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): In the past two weeks we have seen the true cost of trying to run the world on cheap coal, with 150 Chinese miners trapped underground in a country where 6,000 miners die every year, and 25 miners killed in West Virginia - employees of a serial violator of mine legislation. Will the Government take on the role of leading the international debate on the ethics of putting miners' safety before profits?

Edward Miliband, Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change: My hon. Friend raises an important issue, which I have discussed with him. It is right that we take up these issues through organisations such as the International Labour Organisation and other international bodies and I have said to him that we will do so.

House Speech Contents  Return to Homepage


 

Commons Hansard
30 Mar 2010

Energy: Conservation

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the cost per kilogram of carbon dioxide saved for the different types of commercially available domestic energy efficient technologies, including circulator pumps; and if he will make a statement. [324214]

Joan Ruddock, Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change: This question was considered in the recent CERT extension impact assessment, which can be accessed via the link provided(1). The cost per kilogram of carbon dioxide saved can be determined for a range of technologies from the information provided in tables 1 and 2. The cost per kilogram can be determined by dividing the total cost for the measure, shown in table 2, by the relevant life time carbon dioxide savings shown in table 1 (multiply the figures shown in table 1 by 1,000 to obtain kilograms of carbon dioxide). The Department does not hold this information for circulator pumps.

(1) This information was extracted from pages 55 and 56 of die Impact Assessment for the CERT consultation and can be accessed via the following link:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/cert_ext/cert_ext.aspx

Table 1: Lifetime CO 2 saving score per measure, in the priority and non-priority groups
Lifetime C O 2 savings per measure tC O 2 (lifetime)
Carbon saving measure Lifetime (years) PG Non-PG
InsulationCavity wall insulation4023.7426.34
Loft insulation professional (from < 60mm)4014.7018.10
Loft insulation professional (from > 60mm)404.345.34
Loft insulation (DIY)409.4011.58
SWI external3062.0268.83
SWI internal3058.6465.08
Insulated wallpaper3020.1722.38
Tank insulation-top-up101.981.98
Glazing E to C rated201.521.72
Draughtproofing202.322.86
HeatingA/B rated boilers (exceptions)123.954.47
Fuel switching2074.9784.94
Heating controls-upgrade with boiler120.380.44
Heating controls-extra123.093.57
Wood pellet stoves (secondary)2011.1012.58
Log burning stoves203.994.52
Wood pellet boilers (primary)2095.84108.60
Solar water heater (4m(2))258.148.14
Ground source heat pumps4095.97108.75
Air source heat pumps1542.5748.23
Wood chip CHP3096.48107.07
Community GSHP4020.4222.66
Community heating to wood chip30106.41118.08
Replacement of G rated boilers65.446.17
LightingCFLs-retail80.050.05
Efficient halogens6.510.020.02
LEDs180.140.14
AppliancesA rated cold appliances(1)-
A rated wet appliances(1)-
iDTVs(1)-
PC mains panels50.150.16
Energy saving kettles50.040.04
LNBs70.040.04
A++ cold appliances120.580.58
A++ wet appliances120.110.11
MicrogenPhotovoltaic panels (2.5 kWp)2522.7822.78
micro Wind (1 kWp, 10 per cent. LF)103.783.78
micro Hydro (0.7 kWp, 50 per cent. LF)2026.4426.44
Mini-wind 5 kW, 20 per cent. LF22.584.9884.98
mCHP (80 per cent. heat, 15 per cent. elec)152.913.30
OtherRTDs150.9960.996
Advice only7.50.66750.6675
(1) No longer eligible

Table 2 : Assumed costs of measures
Basic installation cost Administration cost Total cost
Carbon saving measure All PG non-PG PG non-PG PG non-PG
InsulationCavity wall insulation3803563958771443466
Loft insulation professional (from < 60mm)2862682977057338355
Loft insulation professional (from > 60mm)2862682977057338355
Loft insulation (DIY)1201071283228138157
SWI external8,5007,9698,8302932258,2629,054
SWI internal5,1004,7815,2982732105,0545,508
Insulated wallpaper3,7003,4693,8432561983,7254,042
Tank insulation-top-up141414431817
Glazing E to C rated2121992205545253265
Draughtproofing101941052824123128
HeatingA/B rated boilers (exceptions)2122092145744266258
Fuel switching2,0141,8882,0922161692,1042,261
Heating controls-upgrade with boiler9084942621110115
Heating controls-extra1481391544033179188
Wood pellet stoves (secondary)1,4171,3991,4281921471,5921,575
Log burning stoves1,0009881,0081641251,1511,133
Wood pellet boilers (primary)7,2007,1107,2562892207,3997,476
Solar water heater (4m(2))3,5003,5003,5002571943,7573,694
Ground source heat pumps11,36010,29512,02130123110,59612,252
Air source heat pumps5,8445,7715,8892812146,0526,103
Wood chip CHP9,2819,1659,3532982269,4639,579
Community GSHP4,2504,1974,2832672034,4634,486
Community heating to wood chip3503463538565430418
Replacement of G rated boilers2,5002,5002,5002361792,7362,679
LightingCFLs-retail1.101.101.100.360.271.461.37
Efficient halogens2.502.502.500.820.623.323.12
LEDs8.007.008.622.292.149.2910.76
AppliancesA rated cold appliances(1)-
A rated wet appliances(1)-
iDTVs(1)-
PC mains panels252525863331
Energy saving kettles171717642321
LNBs101010321312
A++ cold appliances1001001003023130123
A++ wet appliances1001001003023130123
MicrogenPhotovoltaic panels (2.5 kWp)6,3386,3386,3382852166,6236,553
Micro wind (1 kWp, 10 per cent. LF)3,2003,2003,2002511903,4513,390
Micro hydro (0.7 kWp, 50 per cent. LF)1,8901,8901,8902161632,1062,053
Mini-wind 5 kW, 20 per cent. LF21,00021,00021,00031523921,31521,239
mCHP (80 per cent. heat, 15 per cent. elec)60056362311996681719
OtherRTDs202020652625
Advice only3535351184643
(1) No longer eligible

Mr. Dave Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average payback period is for the different types of commercially available domestic energy efficient technologies, including circulator pumps; and if he will make a statement. [324215]

Joan Ruddock: Information on payback periods for some technologies under the CERT regime is shown in the following table. Savings figures are approximate and are based on a typical three-bed semi-detached home. Installed costs are not the full economic cost of the work but incorporate a level of subsidy provided by suppliers under the CERT programme.

Measure Annual saving (/yr) Installed cost Installed payback Emissions savings (kgCO2/yr)
Loft Insulation (0-270mm)Around 150Around 250~ 2 yrs750
Loft Insulation (50-270mm)Around 45Around 250~ 6 yrs200
Cavity Wall InsulationAround 115Around 250~ 2 yrs630
Internal wall insulationAround 3805,500 - 8,500~ 20 yrs2100
External wall insulationAround 40010,500 - 14,500~ 25 yrs2200
Draught proofingAround 25Around 200~ 8 yrs130
Floor insulationAround 60Around 500~ 8 yrs320
Hot water tank jacketAround 35Around 50~ 1 yrs200
Gas Boiler (replacing G rated with A rated)Around 190Around 2500~ 13 yrs1000

Information available at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/cert_ext/cert_ext.aspx

The actual payback period is a function of the cost of the technology, the cost of installation, the actual number of running hours per year and the cost of the fuel saved per year. As these variables are influenced by commercial considerations, which are different for each technology, and as each installation is bespoke, the actual payback period will vary considerably.

Circulator pumps are consumers of energy, though some operate more efficiently than others, particularly those that can modulate their output to match the load. We do not have the information on the payback periods for circulator pumps.

House Speech Contents  Return to Homepage


 

Commons Hansard
30 Mar 2010

Hunting with Dogs

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): It gives me great pleasure to present a petition on behalf of Mrs. Shirley Milne, 519 residents of Blaydon, and others, which states:

The Petition of residents of Blaydon Constituency and others,

Declares that the Petitioners agree with a ban on hunting with dogs, and believe the ban should be enforced rigorously and effectively; further declares that the Petitioners are opposed to any efforts to overturn the ban and allow the re-introduction of hunting with dogs in the future.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons reject any proposal to legalise hunting with dogs and asks the Government to reaffirm its opposition to hunting with dogs.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

House Speech Contents  Return to Homepage


 

Commons Hansard
29 Mar 2010

Energy: Conservation

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when energy efficient circulator pumps will be labelled Energy Saving Recommended. [324288]

Joan Ruddock, Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change: The Department does not have information on when circulator pumps will be labelled Energy Saving Recommended. Responsibility for this issue rests with the Energy Saving Trust.

Mr. Dave Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when energy efficient circulator pumps will be included on the Energy Saving Trust website. [324289]

Joan Ruddock: The Department does not have information on when energy efficient circulator pumps will be included on the website of the Energy Saving Trust. This is a matter for the Energy Saving Trust.

Mr. Dave Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average payback period is for each type of energy efficient technology commercially available, with particular reference to circulator pumps and technologies applicable to non-domestic properties, ranked by their payback period; and if he will make a statement. [324290]

Joan Ruddock: Many of the energy efficiency technologies could be employed in both the domestic and non-domestic arena, so the information on payback periods provided in response to question 1088 may be relevant to some smaller non-domestic applications. However, information on the payback periods in non-domestic properties are much more difficult to determine because of the likely significant variation in scale, cost and use. The Department does not hold this information.

Mr. Dave Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the (a) average internal rate of return and (b) cost per kilogram of carbon dioxide not emitted was for each type of energy efficient technology commercially available, in the latest period for which figures are available, with particular reference to circulator pumps and those technologies applicable to non-domestic properties, ranked by their payback period; and if he will make a statement. [324291]

Joan Ruddock: The Department does not hold information on the internal rate of return, as this information would be specific to each company and installed measure.

The private cost per kilogram of carbon dioxide not emitted (avoided) under a CERT regime can be determined for a range of technologies from the information provided in the following tables 1 and 2. The cost can be obtained by dividing the total cost for the measure, shown in table 2, by the relevant carbon dioxide savings shown in table 1 (multiply the figures shown in table 1 by 1,000 to obtain kilograms of carbon dioxide). The Department does not hold this information for circulator pumps.

Table 1: Lifetime CO 2 saving score per measure, in the priority and non-priority groups
Lifetime C O 2 savings per measure tC O 2 (lifetime)
Carbon saving measure Lifetime (years) PG Non-PG
InsulationCavity wall insulation4023.7426.34
Loft insulation professional (from < 60mm)4014.7018.10
Loft insulation professional (from > 60mm)404.345.34
Loft insulation (DIY)409.4011.58
SWI external3062.0268.83
SWI internal3058.6465.08
Insulated wallpaper3020.1722.38
Tank insulation-top-up101.981.98
Glazing E to C rated201.521.72
Draughtproofing202.322.86
HeatingA/B rated boilers (exceptions)123.954.47
Fuel switching2074.9784.94
Heating controls-upgrade with boiler120.380.44
Heating controls-extra123.093.57
Wood pellet stoves (secondary)2011.1012.58
Log burning stoves203.994.52
Wood pellet boilers (primary)2095.84108.60
Solar water heater (4m(2))258.148.14
Ground source heat pumps4095.97108.75
Air source heat pumps1542.5748.23
Wood chip CHP3096.48107.07
Community GSHP4020.4222.66
Community heating to wood chip30106.41118.08
Replacement of G rated boilers65.446.17
LightingCFLs-retail80.050.05
Efficient halogens6.510.020.02
LEDs180.140.14
AppliancesA rated cold appliances(1)-
A rated wet appliances(1)-
iDTVs(1)-
PC mains panels50.150.16
Energy saving kettles50.040.04
LNBs70.040.04
A++ cold appliances120.580.58
A++ wet appliances120.110.11
MicrogenPhotovoltaic panels (2.5 kWp)2522.7822.78
micro Wind (1 kWp, 10 per cent. LF)103.783.78
micro Hydro (0.7 kWp, 50 per cent. LF)2026.4426.44
Mini-wind 5 kW, 20 per cent. LF22.584.9884.98
mCHP (80 per cent. heat, 15 per cent. elec)152.913.30
OtherRTDs150.9960.996
Advice only7.50.66750.6675
(1) No longer eligible

Table 2 : Assumed costs of measures
Basic installation cost Administration cost Total cost
Carbon saving measure All PG non-PG PG non-PG PG non-PG
InsulationCavity wall insulation3803563958771443466
Loft insulation professional (from < 60mm)2862682977057338355
Loft insulation professional (from > 60mm)2862682977057338355
Loft insulation (DIY)1201071283228138157
SWI external8,5007,9698,8302932258,2629,054
SWI internal5,1004,7815,2982732105,0545,508
Insulated wallpaper3,7003,4693,8432561983,7254,042
Tank insulation-top-up141414431817
Glazing E to C rated2121992205545253265
Draughtproofing101941052824123128
HeatingA/B rated boilers (exceptions)2122092145744266258
Fuel switching2,0141,8882,0922161692,1042,261
Heating controls-upgrade with boiler9084942621110115
Heating controls-extra1481391544033179188
Wood pellet stoves (secondary)1,4171,3991,4281921471,5921,575
Log burning stoves1,0009881,0081641251,1511,133
Wood pellet boilers (primary)7,2007,1107,2562892207,3997,476
Solar water heater (4m(2))3,5003,5003,5002571943,7573,694
Ground source heat pumps11,36010,29512,02130123110,59612,252
Air source heat pumps5,8445,7715,8892812146,0526,103
Wood chip CHP9,2819,1659,3532982269,4639,579
Community GSHP4,2504,1974,2832672034,4634,486
Community heating to wood chip3503463538565430418
Replacement of G rated boilers2,5002,5002,5002361792,7362,679
LightingCFLs-retail1.101.101.100.360.271.461.37
Efficient halogens2.502.502.500.820.623.323.12
LEDs8.007.008.622.292.149.2910.76
AppliancesA rated cold appliances(1)-
A rated wet appliances(1)-
iDTVs(1)-
PC mains panels252525863331
Energy saving kettles171717642321
LNBs101010321312
A++ cold appliances1001001003023130123
A++ wet appliances1001001003023130123
MicrogenPhotovoltaic panels (2.5 kWp)6,3386,3386,3382852166,6236,553
Micro wind (1 kWp, 10 per cent. LF)3,2003,2003,2002511903,4513,390
Micro hydro (0.7 kWp, 50 per cent. LF)1,8901,8901,8902161632,1062,053
Mini-wind 5 kW, 20 per cent. LF21,00021,00021,00031523921,31521,239
mCHP (80 per cent. heat, 15 per cent. elec)60056362311996681719
OtherRTDs202020652625
Advice only3535351184643
(1) No longer eligible

This information was extracted from pages 55 and 56 of the impact assessment for the CERT consultation and can be accessed via the following link:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/cert_ext/cert_ext.aspx

House Speech Contents  Return to Homepage


 

Commons Hansard
25 Mar 2010

Neuromuscular Services: West Midlands

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many whole time equivalent consultant neurologists with a specialism in neuromuscular conditions are employed in the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority area; [322584]

(2) how many whole time equivalent consultant paediatric neurologists with specialism in neuromuscular conditions are employed in the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority area. [322585]

Ann Keen, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health: This information is not collected centrally. However, this information may be available directly from West Midlands Strategic Health Authority.

House Speech Contents  Return to Homepage


 

Commons Hansard
25 Mar 2010

Carbon Emissions: Housing

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many items of domestic heating equipment are receiving funding for the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target scheme; what estimate has been made of the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from this funding; and if he will make a statement. [323430]

Joan Ruddock, Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change: Domestic heating products make up 6 per cent. of savings to date towards the 185 million tonne lifetime carbon dioxide savings target (April 2008-March 2011 time frame). This compares to some 62 per cent. of savings to date achieved through insulation products. There are seven heating product types eligible under CERT, but suppliers are not required to report the number of each installed until the end of the scheme. However, suppliers do report on a quarterly basis to Ofgem the number of microgeneration units installed (approximately 1,000 to December 2009) and the number of properties switched from coal or oil to gas central heating (approximately 100,000).

House Speech Contents  Return to Homepage


 

Commons Hansard
24 Mar 2010

Health Services

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on (a) designating in-house bodies as preferred providers for the management of community services and (b) permitting care trusts to manage community services directly; and if he will make a statement. [323237]

Mr. Mike O'Brien, Minister of State, Department of Health: The Department's guidance on the assurance and approvals process for primary care trust (PCT)-provided community services (published 5 February 2010) sets out the policy on direct provision. It said that PCTs should principally be commissioning organisations. Circumstances may make it appropriate for some PCTs to continue the direct provision of services, but this will not be the norm. Continued direct provision should not detract from the PCT's core role of commissioning, which should be of the highest standard.

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Commons Hansard
24 Mar 2010

Richard D. Hall

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to reply to correspondence from Richard D. Hall dated (a) 4 December 2009, (b) 6 December 2009, (c) 15 December 2009 and (d) 2 March 2010 on animal mutilation. [323907]

Jim Fitzpatrick, Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Neither DEFRA nor its agency, Animal Health, hold a record of having received correspondence of the dates referred to by the hon. Member for Blaydon.

House Speech Contents  Return to Homepage


 

Commons Hansard
23 Mar 2010

Carbon Emissions: Housing

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many domestic appliances are being funded under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target Scheme; what estimated reduction of carbon dioxide emissions this funding has achieved; and if he will make a statement. [323428]

Joan Ruddock, Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change: Domestic appliance products make up less than 1 per cent. of savings to date towards the 185 million tonne lifetime carbon dioxide savings target (April 2008 to March 2011 timeframe). High efficiency consumer electronics are responsible for a further 2 per cent. This compares to some 62 per cent. of savings to date achieved through insulation products. The specific number of domestic appliances supported will only be known at the end of the scheme.

Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department are taking to ensure consumers are informed of how much they are paying towards the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target scheme through tariffs; and if he will make a statement. [323429]

Joan Ruddock: The Government believe that improving the transparency of the costs falling to suppliers from meeting their supplier obligation and how they pass these costs onto consumers is critical. The Government's 'Warm Homes, Greener Homes' strategy published in early March set out the importance of greater transparency in any post 2013 energy company obligation, including around cost information. We continue to develop the detail of this arrangement, and will pursue new powers as necessary.

House Speech Contents  Return to Homepage


 

Commons Hansard
23 Mar 2010

Railways: Freight

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps his Department is taking to encourage the transport of freight by rail. [322628]

Chris Mole, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport: In September 2008 we announced an additional funding of £67 million to the sustainable distribution fund. £61 million of this is allocated to the capital budget from which the freight facilities grant allocations are made. We also provide £24 million of funding for mode shift grants through the rail environmental benefit procurement scheme (REPS). The scheme operates until 31 March 2010, when the mode shift revenue support (MSRS) scheme will replace it. And in the last three years the Government have announced record levels of rail freight investment to support continued growth including £200 million towards the development of a strategic freight network and over £150 million of funding towards the provision of infrastructure enhancement for freight through the productivity transport innovation fund.

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Commons Hansard
22 Mar 2010

Nature Conservation

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking in (a) this country and (b) international fora to curb illegal trade in endangered species. [322743]

Huw Irranca-Davies, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Primary responsibility for enforcing wildlife legislation rests with the Police Service and the UK Border Agency. DEFRA actively supports their activities through the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW).

DEFRA, together with the Home Office, is the main source of funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU). The UK is one of only a handful of countries having a specialist wildlife crime unit and is a world leader in this respect. The Unit spearheads national action to reduce wildlife crime and is the UK's focal point for international wildlife crime enquiries.

The UK has selected wildlife crime priorities for urgent action, either because of their impact on the conservation of certain species or because high levels of crime have been reported. The priorities include species covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Endangered species listed on annex A to CITES require licences in order to be traded within the UK. Animal Health operates a panel of wildlife inspectors who carry out inspections to ensure that the legislation is complied with; it also has an enforcement team which provides information from its records in support of prosecutions.

Internationally, the UK Government (through DEFRA) is the current chair of the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT) - an international organisation which aims to focus public and political attention and resources on ending the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products.

Further international protection is offered by the UK's commitment to working with 174 other countries through our membership of CITES. Through CITES, member countries work to protect endangered species of plants, and animals by restricting and monitoring international trade in them.

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Commons Hansard
22 Mar 2010

Neuromuscular Services: West Midlands

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with representatives of the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority on access to specialist care for people in that region diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular condition. [322491]

Ann Keen, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health: No such discussions have been held with the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority on access to specialist care for people in the West Midlands region.

The number of patients in the West Midlands diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions is approximately 5,000.

It is the responsibility of primary care trusts to ensure the provision of services for neuromuscular dystrophy patients in that region, including access to national health service funded muscular dystrophy care advisers.

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Commons Hansard
22 Mar 2010

Muscular Dystrophy: West Midlands

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average age of death was for people diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy who died in the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority area in the last 12 months. [322490]

Angela E. Smith, Minister of State, Cabinet Office: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2010:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what the average age of mortality was for people diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority area in the last 12 months. (322490)

The information collected at death registration provides statistics on deaths which were caused by specific conditions, or to which specific conditions were known to have contributed. It is not possible to obtain from these mortality statistics any information about all persons diagnosed with, or receiving treatment for, a specific condition.

Internationally accepted guidance from the World Health Organisation requires only those conditions that contributed directly to the death to be recorded on the death certificate. Medical practitioners and coroners are not supposed to record all of the diseases or conditions present at or before death, and whether a condition contributed is a matter for their clinical judgement.

Deaths are coded to an underlying cause of death using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). The codes in ICD-10 do not allow the identification of deaths specifically with a cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The figure given below is therefore based on deaths from all types of muscular dystrophy, including Duchenne.

The average (mean) age at death for people with an underlying cause of death of muscular dystrophy(1) in West Midlands strategic health authority was 48 years in 2008 (the latest year available)(2, 3).

(1) Deaths were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code G71.0.

(2) Based on boundaries as of February 2010.

(3) Figures are based on deaths registered in 2008.

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Commons Hansard
22 Mar 2010

Community Health Services

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason the number of options available to NHS trusts under the Transforming Community Services programme has been reduced; and if he will make a statement. [322744]

Mr. Mike O'Brien, Minister of State, Department of Health: The range of options available to primary care trusts for the future provision of their community services has not been reduced. In February 2010 the Department published Transforming Community Services: The assurance and approvals process for PCT-provided community service which set out a range of options for primary care trusts (PCTs) to consider. The guidance explained that there is no prescribed form(s) and that proposals will be judged on their merits through a nationally defined assurance process.

The guidance makes clear, however, that in relation to Community Foundation Trusts the Department expects relatively few proposals to be sufficiently developed to meet the assurance tests and be deliverable within the required timeframe. Similarly, the Department expects relatively few proposals for continued direct provision to meet the assurance requirements sufficiently, by demonstrating that they are partnered with strong commissioning and will not detract from the PCTs core role as a commissioner.

Transforming Community Services: The assurance and approvals process for PCT-provided community service has already been placed in the Library and is available at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_112147

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Commons Hansard
22 Mar 2010

Railways: Safety

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what discussions the Secretary of State has had with the Office of Rail Regulation on the number of maintenance staff required to be employed by Network Rail in order to maintain present safety standards; and if he will make a statement. [323236]

Chris Mole, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 28 January 2010, Official Report, column 999W.

The independent Office of Rail Regulation has reviewed Network Rail's proposals for the restructuring of its maintenance function so as to be assured that the safety implications of the changes are being well managed. The Office of Rail Regulation announced the outcome of this review on 3 March. Ministers have discussed the proposals in the course of their routine meetings with the independent Office of Rail Regulation.

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Commons Hansard
17 Mar 2010

Oils: Waste Disposal

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his policy is on encouraging the generation of energy from waste oils; and if he will make a statement. [319195]

Dan Norris, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: I have been asked to reply.

DEFRA's policy on waste oils is set out in the revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC). In accordance with the directive, the recovery of energy from waste oil is fourth in the priority order known as the waste hierarchy. The regeneration of waste oil into base oil by re-refining is classed as recycling and is third in the hierarchy. Waste disposal, which includes incineration without energy recovery, is at the bottom as the least preferred option.

We are currently considering the responses to the stage one consultation on the transposition of the revised Waste Framework Directive, including the provisions in article 4 on the waste hierarchy and article 21 on waste oils. The stage two consultation will comprise a draft of the transposing regulations and an impact assessment.

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Commons Hansard
17 Mar 2010

Animal Welfare

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to reply to the correspondence from Mr. Richard D. Hall of Blaydon on animal mutilation phenomena. [321206]

Jim Fitzpatrick, Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: DEFRA and its agency, Animal Health, received several items of correspondence from Mr. Hall between May and September 2009, both directly and through my hon. Friend. I replied to my hon. Friend on 19 October, 2009 and regret the intervening delay.

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Commons Hansard
16 Mar 2010

Community Health Services

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultation he plans to undertake in developing the Transforming Community Services programme. [322047]

Mr. Mike O'Brien, Minister of State, Department of Health: The Department works closely with a wide range of stakeholders to co-produce Transforming Community Services policies and guidance. For example, the programme's working groups include representation from strategic health authorities, clinicians and professional bodies.

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Commons Hansard
10 Mar 2010

International Financial Transactions

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): It is a pleasure to be in front of you today, Mr. Benton. I welcome the good work that is being done by my hon. Friend. He talked about politicians using their imagination, but is it not time for bankers to use theirs? I do not mean by imagining ways in which they can avoid making a contribution towards this country and the world, but by helping. The Prime Minister supports that idea, as does Adair Turner who, in his previous existence, would probably never have supported such a move.

Mr. Graham Allen (Nottingham, North) (Lab): My hon. Friend pulled together the parliamentary aspect of the Robin Hood campaign. He more than anyone knows that this is a very broad coalition that includes not just the obvious figureheads from the world of entertainment, theatre and celebrity but hard-working third sector organisations such as Barnado's, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam and many, many others. On the point that he raises, there needs to be a new social contract between bankers, on the one hand, and the rest of society. We will need to have international flows of currency-they are absolutely enormous and dwarf the GDP of every country in the world-but some of that can be used for purposes that benefit the whole world and individual nations. Somehow it is incumbent on those in international finance and banking to say, "We cannot go on as we were. We need to restore our reputation and we want to be part of the family." Perhaps this scheme is one way in which they, with all their financial expertise, can move things forward.

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Commons Hansard
10 Mar 2010

Grassroots Grants

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): How many local organisations have received grassroots grants from her Department in the last 12 months. [321245]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Angela E. Smith): I can announce today that from September 2008 to December 2009, the grassroots grants programme has provided over 15,500 grants to small charities and voluntary organisations, totalling more than £38 million. These grants are given to small groups across England to do what they think best meets the needs of their local communities. In addition, more than £17.5 million has been received in donations from businesses and individuals. That has been boosted by the Government to more than £31 million to support local activity in years to come.

Mr. Anderson: Will the Minister join me in praising the Birtley community partnership in my constituency, and in particular the chairman, Mr. Ian Caddy, who was recently awarded the MBE by the Queen, for the work that they have done with the community assets programme to develop a community hub in our town from what was a derelict library?

Angela E. Smith: I can. The grassroots grants and community assets programmes are two of my favourite Government programmes for the sector, because they really involve the community in making a difference. My hon. Friend's constituent, whom he mentioned, really earned - [Interruption.] I wanted to say that my hon. Friend's constituent earned his MBE, and he should be very proud of that. I understand that his constituent is not very well at the moment, so I send him my personal best wishes and those of my colleagues for the work that he has done for the community.

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Commons Hansard
8 Mar 2010

Deportation: Democratic Republic of Congo

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will investigate recent reports of the treatment of asylum seekers who are returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo against their will. [320587]

Mr. Phil Woolas, Minister of State, Home Office and HM Treasury and Regional Affairs: The UK Border Agency will investigate specific allegations that returnees to any country have experienced ill-treatment on return from the UK. Neither the UK Border Agency nor the independent courts have found credible evidence that unsuccessful asylum claimants involuntarily returned to Democratic Republic of Congo have faced ill-treatment upon return.

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Commons Hansard
4 Mar 2010

Waste Disposal: EC Action

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to publish the final version of the End of Waste Protocol; and if he will make a statement. [319086]

Dan Norris, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: On 23 and 26 November 2009 the European Commission and Austria respectively commented under Article 8(2) of the Technical Standards Directive on the draft end-of-waste protocol for fuel produced from waste lubricating oil that the UK notified under Article 8(1) of the directive. The UK responded to both sets of comments on 15 February 2010. In doing so, it was confirmed that the UK intended to adopt the end-of-waste protocol on the basis notified to the Commission on 27 August 2009 and that the UK would communicate the definitive text to the Commission in compliance with Article 8(3) of the directive. The Environment Agency expects to publish the definitive text before the end of March 2010.

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Commons Hansard
3 Mar 2010

Home Education: school attendance orders

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of school attendance orders in supporting families with home-educated children. [318521]

Mr. Vernon Coaker, Minister of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families: It is the parents' duty to ensure that their child receives a suitable full-time education at school or otherwise (including home elective education).

If a local authority has concerns that a child is not receiving a suitable, full-time education it has the power to take steps under the school attendance order framework, including serving a school attendance order on the child's parents instructing them to register their child at a named school. Failure to comply with an order is an offence. Local authorities have the responsibility for prosecuting parents if they breach a school attendance order and also have the option of seeking an education supervision order. We believe that this achieves a balance between the rights of parents to educate their children outside the school system, many of whom do a good job, and the rights of the child to a full-time education suitable to their needs and abilities.

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Commons Hansard
2 Mar 2010

Blaydon: Crime

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to the Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of his Department's policies and actions since 2000. [315300]

Mr. Alan Campbell, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office: The Home Office has introduced a range of policies and initiatives since 2000. However, it is not always possible to quantify their effects particularly at constituency level. The available statistical information therefore relates to the Gateshead crime and disorder reduction partnership area.

In terms of police recorded crime in Gateshead, between 2002-03 and 2008-09, total recorded crime fell by 41 per cent. More specifically:

Data prior to 2002-03 are not directly comparable because of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002.

Gateshead Basic Command Unit had 443 police officers as at 30 March 2009. The number of police officers has increased by 33 since 2003. Comparisons with 2000 for Gateshead BCU are not available. There were 35 police community support officers as at 30 March 2009 while there were none in existence in 2000.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 saw positive effects with the statutory duty to create a crime and disorder reduction partnership (CDRP).

Gateshead CDRP is a merged CDRP/DAAT and forms part of the local strategic partnership sub-group Safer Stronger Communities and Culture Partnership. There is a genuine partnership with police, local authority and other key stakeholders problem solving to tackle complex issues.

Generally crime performance is positive. The overall rate of violence with injury per 1,000 population is lower than the regional and national averages.

Gateshead, as part of Northumbria police force, has been part of the Tackling Knives Action Programme in 2009-10. This has provided additional funding for prevention and education activity on knife crime and serious youth violence, as well as additional enforcement operations. The partnership has have also received funding and support from the Home Office and Ministry of Justice to tackle domestic and sexual violence including the development of multi area risk assessment conference (MARAC), a special domestic violence court (SDVC) and associated independent domestic violence advisers (IDVA).

Safer Gateshead uses ASB tools and powers effectively. It is currently reviewing its delivery to provide a graded approach to ASB with a focus on early intervention.

Gateshead agreed to become a Neighbourhood Crime and Justice Pioneer Area in 2009. As a pioneer, it has dedicated resource to work with its communities to address local concerns on crime, antisocial behaviour and justice. The partnership uses Community Payback effectively as part of this approach.

Gateshead is an intensive drug intervention programme (DIP) area and tackles drug-related offending through drug-testing on arrest and restriction on bail provisions thereby allowing more offenders to be targeted and steered into treatment and out of crime. Gateshead's DIP budget for 2009-10 is £637,363. In 2008-09 there were 2,255 positive drug tests with 945 problem drug users (crack and/or opiate users) recorded as being in effective drug treatment.

The Neighbourhood Statistics Service provides a wide range of statistical information at parliamentary constituency level, taken from the 2001 census and other sources. This service is available on the National Statistics website at:

http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk

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Commons Hansard
25 Feb 2010

Leukaemia: Drugs

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health what support will be given to people diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia if the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends against the use of the drugs dasatinib and nilotinib. [318382]

Ann Keen, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has not yet published final guidance on the use of dasatinib and nilotinib for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) that is resistant to imatinib. NICE has published draft guidance and stakeholders now have until 2 March to comment on NICE'S recommendations.

Alternative treatment options for CML that is resistant to imatinib include interferon alfa, hydroxycarbamide or best supportive care. Guidance on best supportive care for patients with CML is set out in the NICE guidance Improving outcomes in haematological cancers, published in 2003.

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Commons Hansard
25 Feb 2010

Home Education

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will recommend an increase in the use of school attendance orders as a method of supporting families with home-educated children. [318522]

Mr. Vernon Coaker, Minister of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families: No, the usage of those measures is left to the local authorities' discretion.

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Commons Hansard
25 Feb 2010

Coal: Electricity

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will give additional support to promote the use of co-firing of biomass in coal-powered electricity generation. [318563]

Mr. David Kidney, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Energy and Climate Change: Co-firing, along with other eligible renewable electricity generation technologies is supported under the renewables obligation.

In October 2010 we will start the first scheduled banding review for all eligible renewables technologies supported under the renewables obligation.

This will include reviewing at the level of support for co-firing of biomass and energy crops in fossil-fuelled generation.

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Commons Hansard
23 Feb 2010

Blaydon: Children, Schools and Families

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of the policies and actions of his Department and its predecessors since 2000. [315305]

Mr. Vernon Coaker, Minister of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families: Since 2000 the Government have transformed education and child care with improved outcomes for children and young people. Figures showing the performance at key stage 2 and at GCSE and equivalents in Blaydon are given in the following tables.

Key stage 2 results of 11-year-old pupils attending schools( 1) in Blaydon constituency
Percentage of pupils gaining level 4 and above 2000 2009( 2) Percentage point improvement 2000-09
Blaydon-English82864
Blaydon-maths79878
Blaydon-science90933
England-English(3)75805
England-maths(3)72797
England-science(3)85883
(1) Local averages include pupils attending all maintained schools (including academies and city technology colleges).
(2) Revised data.
(3) England averages include pupils attending all maintained schools (including academies and city technology colleges).

GCSE and equivalents( 1) results for pupils( 2) attending schools( 3) in Blaydon constituency
Percentage of pupils gaining 2000 2009( 4) Percentage point improvement 2000-09
Blaydon-5+ A*-C55.886.030.2
Blaydon-5+ A*-G92.196.54.4
England-5+ A*-C(5)49.270.020.8
England-5+ A*-G(5)88.992.33.4
(1) From 2004 results incorporate GCSEs, GNVQs and a range of other qualifications approved pre-16. Prior to 2004, results are based on GCSEs and GNVQs only.
(2) From 2006 figures are for pupils at the end of key stage 4. Prior to 2006, results are based on pupils aged 15.
(3) Local averages include pupils attending all maintained schools (including academies and city technology colleges) and from 2000 do not include pupils recently arrived from overseas.
(4) Revised data.
(5) England averages also include independent schools as well as hospital schools and PRUs.

Further information by constituency is provided within the Department's 'In Your Area' website available at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/inyourarea

Information available at constituency level includes the number of specialist schools, number of operational academies, number of teaching assistants and other support staff, number of teachers and pupil: teacher ratios. Where information is not available at constituency level it has been provided at local authority level including the number of free early education places taken up by three and four-year-olds, number of full-time and part-time entrants to higher education institutions aged 18 to 20, average A-level point score per candidate and per entry together with percentage of people of working age qualified to at least level 2 and percentage of people of working age qualified to level 4 and above.

Additional information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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Commons Hansard
22 Feb 2010

Cerebrospinal: Multiple Sclerosis

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will (a) commission and (b) evaluate research into the relationship between chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency and multiple sclerosis.

David Lammy, Minister of State (Higher Education and Intellectual Property), Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is an independent body which receives its grant in aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The MRC spent £3.4 million on research into multiple sclerosis in 2008-09, but is not currently funding any research specifically into chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI).

The MRC provides funding for research through a range of grants and personal awards to scientists in universities, medical schools and other research institutes but does not normally commission research to address specific questions.

Applications are generally submitted by the scientific community in 'response mode' and the MRC always welcomes high quality applications for support into any aspect of human health. The primary considerations in funding decisions are research excellence and importance to health; however, high quality proposals in areas of particular strategic importance may be given priority in competition for funds.

The MRC provides opportunities for additional clinical research training fellowships through collaborations with Royal Colleges and charity funders including the MRC/Multiple Sclerosis Society Clinical Research Training Fellowships. One fellowship per year is available under this scheme, aimed at researchers who are involved in treating patients and who wish to pursue research into understanding and treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Details of MRC's currently funded research can be found in the MRC research portfolio which is accessible on the MRC website at:

http://www.mrc.ac.uk/ResearchPortfolio/index.htm

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Commons Hansard
22 Feb 2010

Primary Care Trusts: Procurement

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account his Department's guidance on primary care trust procurement takes of the policy on preferred providers of health services. [316312]

Mr. Mike O'Brien, Minister of State, Department of Health: The "PCT Procurement Guide for Health Services" first published in May 2008 applies to all national health service-funded healthcare procurement. Primary care trusts as commissioners are expected to comply with this guidance as part of their obligations in the Operating Framework published in December 2007. The PCT Procurement Guide is currently being revised to take account of developments since 2008.

The Secretary of State's Vision document "NHS 2010-2015: From Good to Great and the NHS Operating Framework 2010/11" outline how we expect the NHS as preferred provider to work in practice. Copies of both documents have already been placed in the Library.

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Commons Hansard
22 Feb 2010

NHS: Training

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to publish guidance on commissioning skills for the NHS. [316314]

Mr. Mike O'Brien, Minister of State, Department of Health: The world class commissioning (WCC) programme was launched in December 2007 and is intended to strengthen the commissioning capability of primary care trusts (PCTs) to improve local health outcomes at best value for current and future service users. The competencies for world class commissioning were first published in December 2007 and refreshed in September 2009. They set out the knowledge, skills, behaviours and characteristics that underpin effective commissioning. PCTs are held to account on their commissioning performance through an annual assurance process. A copy of the WCC Assurance Handbook year 2, which details the competencies, has been placed in the Library and is available at:

http://wcc.networks.nhs.uk/background

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Commons Hansard
22 Feb 2010

NHS: preferred provider

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the NHS as the preferred provider of health services. [316313]

Mr. Mike O'Brien, Minister of State, Department of Health: The policy on national health service as preferred provider is about getting the best care for patients and looking after the NHS staff who care for them. It represents a clarification of Government policy to ensure that where services provided within the public sector are performing well, are financially sustainable and also demonstrating the ability to keep improving there should be no presumption that these services are subject to competitive tender. When competitive tender does occur, it will be transparent and fair with all providers having an equal opportunity to bid, potentially in new partnerships and joint ventures.

The aim is to ensure that NHS staff are treated fairly and engaged in decisions, so that they know what is happening and when, and what changes are being sought and why. Service improvement and re-design should not be something which is imposed on NHS staff but something which they own and lead. Clinical engagement and leadership will be crucial to driving the transformation of services patients and taxpayers need.

Secretary of State's Vision document "NHS 2010-2015: From Good to Great" and the "NHS Operating Framework 2010/11" outline how we expect the NHS as preferred provider to work in practice. Copies of both documents have already been placed in the Library.

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Commons Hansard
22 Feb 2010

Blaydon: Work and Pensions

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Blaydon constituency, the effect on that constituency of her Department's policies and actions since 2000. [315296]

Jonathan Shaw, Minister of State, Regional Affairs and Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions: DWP lead the Government's response to some of the biggest issues facing the Country-welfare and pension reform-and are a key player in tackling child poverty. As the biggest delivery department in the UK, DWP makes a difference to millions of people every day, helping them to lead safer, fairer and more rewarding lives that are free from poverty. We want to give people more choice and control over their lives and are committed to providing greater choice and personalised support to everyone who needs it so they have the opportunity to get into and remain in work. We believe that work works. Even in economically challenging times we know that work works for the most vulnerable and the disadvantaged.

Support to find work

Through Jobcentre Plus, we are promoting work as the best form of welfare for people of working age. Since 2000, although the number of people unemployed in Blaydon has increased by 45 per cent to 2,014, the number unemployed for more than one year has decreased by 28 per cent to 220. From May 2000 to May 2009 the number of lone parents claiming Income Support in Blaydon has decreased by 24 per cent to 860.

Our New Deals have helped lone parents, the young unemployed, the long-term unemployed, disabled people, the over 50s and partners of unemployed people to move from benefit into work. Since their inception over 2.2 million people in Great Britain have found work with the support of the New Deal, and 3,620 have been helped in Blaydon.

Support for children

We introduced a target to halve child poverty by 2010-11 on the way to eradicating it by 2020. Poverty is measured using a headline indicator of the proportion of children in households with an income below 60 per cent of contemporary household median income before housing costs. This is in line with international best practice.

Statistics on the numbers of children living in poverty are not available at the constituency level. But the latest information for the North East Government Office Region shows that the proportion of children in poverty has fallen from 32 per cent. in 2000 to 28 per cent.(1)

Support for older people

Figures from 2000 relating to support for older people could be obtained at only disproportionate cost. However, figures are available from 1997 and these are shown as follows.

Since 1997 our strategy has been to target help on the poorest pensioners while providing a solid foundation of support for all.

This year we will be spending over £13 billion more on pensioners than if we had continued with policies that were in place in 1997. Around half of that money will go to the poorest third of pensioners.

In 1997 the poorest pensioners, who received income support, lived on £69 a week (£98 in today's prices). Today pension credit, which was introduced in 2003, means no pensioner needs to live on less than £130 a week, £198.45 for couples. As of May 2009 6,140 pensioners in Blaydon are benefiting from pension credit.

In 2007-08 there were 900,000 fewer pensioners living in relative poverty in UK compared to 1998-99 (measured as below 60 per cent. of contemporary median household income after housing costs).

Statistics on the proportion of pensioners living in relative poverty are not available at the constituency level. But the latest data for the North East Government Office Region show that the number of pensioners in poverty in fell from 27 per cent. to 19 per cent. since 20002.

Pensioners in the UK also benefit from a range of additional support such as the winter fuel payment which this winter is worth £250 for households aged between 60-79 and £400 for households aged 80 or over. These payments provide vital reassurance to older people that they can afford to turn up their heating during cold weather. Prior to winter 1997-98 less than £60 million was spent helping pensioners meet their fuel bills - this year the Government will be spending around £2.7 billion on winter fuel payments alone. In 2008-09 19,980 people aged 60 and over benefited from Winter fuel payments in Blaydon.

We have also taken steps to strengthen and protect the private pensions system to ensure people can continue to have confidence to save for their future through the establishment of the Pensions Protection Fund, the Financial Assistance Scheme and a more powerful and proactive pensions regulator. The protection system ensures that, unlike in 1997, people aren't left without a pension even in the event that their employer becomes insolvent.

In total 405 people in the North East Region are receiving compensation from the Pension Protection Fund (data not available at constituency level(3)).

Regional information about assistance payments received by members from the Financial Assistance Scheme could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The Government have also taken forward a radical package of pension reforms in the Pensions Acts of 2007 and 2008 which will deliver a fairer and more generous state pension and extend the opportunity of workplace pension saving to millions, many for the first time.

The state pension reforms begin to come into effect from 2010 and will mean around three quarters of women reaching State Pension age in 2010 are expected to qualify for a full basic State Pension compared to half without reform.

Support for disabled people and carers

Since 2001, we have significantly extended and improved civil rights for disabled people in areas such as employment, education, access to goods and services and transport. Disabled people in Blaydon will have benefited from these improvements. The Welfare Reform Act 2009 contains powers to increase choice and control for disabled adults, including disabled parents who are entitled to state support, enabling them to choose how certain state support is used to meet their individual needs. This will be trail blazed in up to eight local authority areas from late 2010. Older and less well off carers have gained extra help through the provisions within the National Carers Strategy.

(1) Based on three-year averages and figures are rounded to the nearest percentage point or 100,000 children between 2000-01 to 200-03 and 200-06 to 2007-08.

(2) Based on three-year averages and changes are rounded to the nearest percentage point or 100,000 pensioners between 2000-01 to 2002-2003 and 2005-06 to 2007-08.

(3) Regional information about assistance payments received by members from the Financial Assistance Scheme could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

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Commons Hansard
22 Feb 2010

Industrial Diseases: Compensation

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has paid to the legal firm Nabarro for handling issues related to compensation to miners for (a) chest diseases, (b) vibration white finger and (c) miners' knee. [317257]

Mr. David Kidney, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Energy and Climate Change: The amount of legal fees the Department has paid to Nabarro for handling compensation to miners in respect of the British Coal Respiratory Disease Litigation (BCRDL), Vibration White Finger Handling Arrangements (VWF) and for Miners Knee Group Litigation as at 10 February 2010 is shown as follows:

These figures are exclusive of VAT and disbursements.

 £
BCRDL9,949,537.11
VWF3,447,411.36
Knee litigation5,710,185.20

BCRDL fees include representation in the largest personal injury action in the UK over a 12 year period and the VWF fees cover an 11 year period. The Miners Knee Litigation fees cover a period from 2003-04 to date and primarily relate to the Department's obligations for document disclosure.

For the BCRDL and VWF the figures do not include the costs of defending individual court actions.

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Commons Hansard
22 Feb 2010

Blaydon: Defence

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of his Department's policies and actions since 2000. [315303]

Mr. Kevan Jones, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence: The Ministry of Defence delivers security for the equal benefit of all the people of the UK, and the Overseas Territories, by defending them, including against terrorism; and acting as a force for good in the world by strengthening international peace and stability. Our continuing main effort of success in Afghanistan, preventing al-Qaeda from having a secure base from which to threaten us directly, keeps our country safe from the threat of terrorism.

The Service Personnel Command Paper set out the Nation's Commitment to our Armed Forces, their families and veterans. This is a cross-Government initiative that is making real differences to the lives of our service personnel, veterans and their families and we are fully committed to upholding its key principles. The first annual report on the Service Personnel Command Paper was published on 19 November 2009. This report captured the progress made against the commitments of the Command Paper within the first year following its launch. It can be found at the following link:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/Showcase/Providing ForOurPeople.htm

The report sets out the substantial progress that has been made including:

compensation for most serious injuries doubled;

free further education for service leavers;

retention of places on NHS waiting lists;

Local Connection legislation amended in England and Wales, with a similar exercise currently being worked on in Scotland, to give service leavers credit for having lived and worked in an area when applying for social housing; and

from April 2009, ex-service men and women who are seriously injured were given priority for specially adapted social homes.

Defence Statistics are not available at constituency level, but regional statistics on service personnel numbers and defence employment can be found on the Defence Analytical Service and Advice website. Location of military personnel can be found in Tri Service Publication 10 at the following link:

http://www.dasa.mod.uk/applications/newWeb/www/index.php?page=67&pubType=0&thiscontent=100&date=2010-01-28

Regional defence employment can be found in Tables 1.11, 1.11a and 1.1 1b in UK Defence Statistics 2009 at the following link:

http://www.dasa.mod.uk/modintranet/UKDS/UKDS2009/c1/table111b.html

Additionally, although not defence-related, the Neighbourhood Statistics Service provides a wide range of statistical information at parliamentary constituency level, taken from the 2001 census and other sources. This service is available on the National Statistics website at the following link:

http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk

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Commons Hansard
10 Feb 2010

Mining: Pensions

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much employees paid in contributions to the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme between 1987 and 1994. [316315]

Mr. David Kidney, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Energy and Climate Change: The Mineworkers' Pension Scheme became a closed scheme in 1994. The scheme, rather than this Department, is the custodian of information relating to employee members' contributions prior to that time. I would suggest that my hon. Friend direct his inquiry to:

The Secretary
Mineworkers' Pension Scheme
Hussar Court
Hillsborough Barracks
Sheffield
S6 2GZ.

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Commons Hansard
10 Feb 2010

Blaydon: Energy and Climate Change

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to the Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of the policies and actions of his Department and its predecessors since 2000. [315294]

Joan Ruddock, Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change: The Department of Energy and Climate Change and its predecessors have implemented a large number of policies to address energy security, emissions reductions, low carbon economic growth and fuel poverty since 2000. Some of the key achievements are set out as follows, along with information on the number of households assisted by the Warm Front scheme in Blaydon constituency. It would be disproportionately costly to provide statistical information on all the impact of all the policies to the level of detail requested, but statistical information covering energy and climate change is available at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/statistics.aspx

Key achievements

Warm Front scheme: Blaydon constituency

DECC's Warm Front scheme provides grants for households on qualifying income and disability related benefits to install a range of insulation and heating measures in their homes. Since 2000 the scheme has assisted 2092 households in the Blaydon constituency.

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Commons Hansard
10 feb 2010

Blaydon:Equality

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Minister for Women and Equality if she will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of the policies and actions of the Government Equalities Office since it was established. [315297]

Maria Eagle, Minister of State, Ministry of Justice and Government Equalities Office: The Government Equalities Office operates at a strategic level across Government to promote policies which address discrimination. It is not possible to provide statistical information about the effects on Blaydon of the policies and actions of GEO since it was established.

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Commons Hansard
9 Feb 2010

Blaydon: Transport

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of his Department's policies and actions since 2000. [315299]

Mr. Sadiq Khan, Minister of State, Department for Transport: The Transport Act 2000, as amended by the Local Transport Act 2008, has provided a new policy framework benefiting all local transport authorities. The framework gives greater certainty of funding, while encouraging more strategic transport planning with local consultation, and increasing local flexibility and discretion over resources. It was accompanied by a significant increase in capital funding: support from the Department for transport investment in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead, within which transport authority Blaydon falls, has more than doubled over the last decade.

Investment in Tyne and Wear's Joint Local Transport Plan, to which Gateshead Council is a partner authority, has delivered a number of improvements to the quality, safety and accessibility of the local transport network. Between 2005 and 2008, bus patronage per head of population increased by 8 per cent, and the number of people killed or seriously injured on the local highway network decreased by 22 per cent. in the period 2001-07.

In 2005, the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority, Nexus, submitted a successful bid to the Department for 'Kickstart' revenue funding of the 639 Gateshead Orbital bus service, operated by Go North-East. The £336,256 award facilitated the doubling of the daytime and early-evening frequency of the service from hourly to half-hourly. The improved service, featuring fully accessible vehicles, has significantly improved links between the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and areas of western Gateshead, including Blaydon.

The £17 million Centrelink scheme was completed in 2005, providing enhanced public transport links between Gateshead town centre and the MetroCentre. The project included the construction of an £8.4 million busway and the reorganisation of the public transport interchange in Gateshead town centre to facilitate interchange between bus and Metro services. The project has had the complementary effect of removing large numbers of buses from shopping streets, thereby reducing congestion and improving the environment for pedestrians and shoppers.

In July 2007, Gateshead council completed a £1 million upgrade to the A184 Felling bypass. The project included the widening of the road to a three-lane carriageway to provide space for a dedicated bus priority lane. The scheme has provided bus passengers with greater journey time reliability and forms part of Tyne and Wear's 'Superoute' network of Quality Bus Corridors, which generated patronage growth of 14 per cent. between 2002 and 2007.

On 3 February 2010 the Department announced that it would provide around £580 million to the Tyne and Wear Metro for ongoing operating support and major infrastructure renewals to 2021.

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Commons Hansard
9 Feb 2010

Blaydon: Culture, Media and Sport

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of his Department's policies and actions since 2000. [315304]

Mr. Sin Simon, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Culture, Media and Sport: My Department's aim is to improve the quality of life for everyone through cultural and sporting activities, to support the pursuit of excellence and to champion the tourism, creative and leisure industries.

The impact of bodies and policies of my Department on the Blaydon constituency since 2000 include:

The Blaydon constituency has also benefited from other policies and spending whose impact cannot be broken down by constituency. This includes:

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Commons Hansard
8 Feb 2010

Blaydon:Justice

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to the Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of his Department's policies and actions since 2000. [315295]

Mr. Michael Wills, Minister of State, Ministry of Justice: The Ministry of Justice's work spans criminal, civil and family justice, democracy, rights and the constitution. Every year around nine million people use our services in 900 locations across the United Kingdom, including 650 courts and tribunals and 139 prisons in England and Wales.

The range of the Department's policies and actions is wide and the statistical information relating to it is not normally collected on a constituency basis. Consequently, some of the information requested in the question cannot be provided in the form requested except at a disproportionate cost.

In addition, at a national level:

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Commons Hansard
8 Feb 2010

Blaydon: Treasury

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to the Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of his Department's policies and actions since 2000. [315298]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry, Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury: The Neighbourhood Statistics Service provides a wide range of statistical information at parliamentary constituency level, taken from the 2001 Census and other sources. This service is available on the National Statistics website at:

http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk

The Government have put in place a broad programme of reform since 1997. Over the decade to 2007, the economic performance of all parts of the UK has improved considerably.

The global recession has had a negative impact on economic activity in all parts of the UK. However, the economy was starting from a position of strength and is actively supported by policies implemented by the Government, including the fiscal stimulus and a significant package of support for those out of work. In Blaydon people are benefiting from this investment. Over the second half of 2009, nearly 500 people moved off of the claimant count each month on average. The claimant count fell for two consecutive months in November and December and now stands at nearly 5 per cent. below its October level. Long-term unemployment is still nearly 90 per cent. lower than in 2000 at the end of 2009.

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Commons Hansard
8 Feb 2010

International Whaling Commission

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with international counterparts on negotiations on the reform of the International Whaling Commission. [315665]

Huw Irranca-Davies, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: I discussed whaling and the reform of the IWC with the hon. Peter Garrett MP, Australian Minister for the Environment in June last year. In the same month I also met with the Icelandic Fisheries Minister where I called upon Iceland to respect the moratorium and halt commercial whaling operations.

At the International Whaling Commission's last annual meeting during which negotiations on the reform process continued, I met with a number of my international counterparts, including the Minister from Portugal.

More recently, I wrote to Japan's Environment and Fisheries Minister in October 2009 expressing our concern for their continued whaling and urging the Japanese Government to review its whaling policy.

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Commons Hansard
8 Feb 2010

Blaydon: Environment

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to the Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of his Department's policies and actions since 2000. [315302]

Dan Norris, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Due to the broad nature of the question and the wide range of DEFRA policies implemented in Blaydon, which falls under the Gateshead council, it is not possible to provide a detailed answer in the form requested.

As a local authority, Gateshead is obliged through statute to comply with central Government legislation. DEFRA's policy responsibilities are summarised in its departmental strategic objectives (DSOs) that have been agreed with the Treasury:

DEFRA publishes annual departmental reports which set out progress against its Public Service Agreement targets and DSOs. The 2009 Report is available at:

www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/about/how/deprep/2009-report.htm

Past reports are available on-line in the National Archives.

For information on a specific DEFRA policy in Blaydon, the Government Office for the North East is able to provide information on implementation and the benefits to the area.

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Commons Hansard
5 Feb 2010

Tax Allowances

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the effects on those who participate in the Salary Sacrifice Travel scheme of his Department's recent revisions to its guidance on the scheme. [315667]

Mr. Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary, HM Treasury and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: There have been no changes to the employment related travel expenses' rules since 1998 or to benefits related to travel to work since 2002.

As a general rule, tax relief is not given for the cost of travelling between home and the workplace. Legislation (sections 243 and 244 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003) sets out the conditions under which relief for a benefit received as a consequence of an employer's support for local bus transport and for Cycle to Work schemes apply.

In December 2009, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) updated its guidance relating to these schemes to clarify the conditions that need to be met in order for relief to be available. The revised guidance is available at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/specialist/cycles_bus_passes.pdf

The changes to HMRC's guidance do not widen or restrict the scope of the legislation.

Information on the revenue implications and the effects on users of these schemes as a result of the change in guidance is not available, as HMRC does not hold the detailed data necessary to produce this analysis.

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Commons Hansard
4 Feb 2010

Blaydon: Economy

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of the policies and actions of his Department and its predecessors since 2000. [315306]

Mr. Pat McFadden, Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Since 2000, the policies and actions of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and its predecessors have focused on building a competitive economy and on delivering prosperity and sustainable economic growth. Examples of how BIS policies and actions have impacted on Blaydon include:

The levels of skills levels in the Blaydon constituency have increased significantly since 2000, with the proportion of people qualified to at least NVQ level 4 has risen from 15.4 per cent. to 24.7 per cent. -an increase of over 60 per cent. Over the same period performance has increased from 77.4 per cent. to 82.1 per cent. at NVQ level 1, from 56 per cent. to 69.6 per cent. at NVQ level 2 and from 33.9 per cent. to 44.4 per cent. at NVQ level 3. Furthermore, the proportion of people in the constituency with no recognised skills has fallen from 17.1 per cent. to 11.7 per cent. over the same period.

Source: 2009 Annual Population Survey

Blaydon constituency residents are now also earning considerably more. The average gross full-time weekly earnings in the constituency has risen from £356.10 in 2002 to £457.20 in 2009, an increase of some 28 per cent.

Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings. Residence-based data

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Commons Hansard
4 Feb 2010

Blaydon: Health improvements

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to the Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of his Department's policies and actions since 2000. [315301]

Ann Keen, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health: The Government have put in place a programme of national health service investment and reform since 1997 to improve service delivery in all parts of the United Kingdom. 93 per cent. of people nationally now rate the NHS as good or excellent. The NHS Constitution contains 25 rights and 14 pledges for patients and the public including new rights to be treated within 18 weeks, or be seen by a cancer specialist within two weeks and an NHS health check every five years for those aged 40 to 74 years.

There is significant evidence that these policies have yielded considerable benefits for the Blaydon constituency. For example:

Figures for November 2009 show that in Gateshead primary care trust (PCT):

Although statistical information is not available at a local level, Blaydon will have also benefited from national policies in other areas. For example:

Other strategies currently being implemented are:

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Commons Hansard
1 Feb 2010

Micro-Combined Heat and Power

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he and his officials have had meetings with colleagues at the Treasury on the introduction of a feed-in tariff for micro-combined heat and power since December 2009; and if he will make a statement. [310988]

Mr. David Kidney, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change: The DECC ministerial team, DECC officials and I, regularly discuss the development of policies, including the proposed feed-in tariffs policy, with colleagues from other Departments including HM Treasury.

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Commons Hansard
28 Jan 2010

Combined Heat and Power: Finance

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his estimate is of the likely change in the number of jobs in the micro-combined heat and power industry if a feed-in tariff for the sector were to be introduced. [310717]

Mr. David Kidney, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change: The Government have not produced estimates of job creation in the microCHP industry. Any such estimates would depend on market size, which would depend in part on the nature and level of the support the technology was offered, as well as a range of commercial factors, and the nature of the manufacturing process for the different technologies relative to conventional boilers.

Mr. Dave Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects to make an announcement on the introduction of a feed-in tariff for micro-combined heat and power. [310718]

Mr. Kidney: Treatment of microCHP under the feed-in tariff will be announced as part of the Government's response to the feed-in tariffs consultation. This will be made shortly.

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Commons Hansard
28 Jan 2010

Probation: contact time

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of time probation staff spend in face to face contact with offenders; and if he will make a statement. [313069]

Maria Eagle, Minister of State, Ministry of Justice and Government Equalities Office: Ministers are committed to increasing the amount of time probation staff spend in contact with offenders through reducing the bureaucratic demands on front line staff and tailoring the level of intervention to the risk which the offender presents.

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) does not routinely report on the proportion of working time spent in face to face contact with offenders. In December 2008, NOMS undertook a survey, over a one week period, of a small sample of Offenders Managers. It indicated that staff undertaking this role spent 24 per cent. of their time in direct contact with offenders.

The survey did not cover probation staff responsible for delivery of Community Payback, Accredited Programmes or working within Approved Premises. The proportion of time spent in face to face contact with offenders in these areas of work is considerably higher.

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Commons Hansard
28 Jan 2010

Network Rail: Manpower

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that Network Rail maintains staffing levels adequate to maintain the railway system. [314083]

Chris Mole, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport: Staffing is an operational matter for Network Rail. Network Rail is required to deliver substantial efficiency savings for the operation, maintenance and renewal of the network over the next five years, set by the independent Office of Rail Regulation.

The independent Office of Rail Regulation has ultimate responsibility for assessing that Network Rail's activities do not put at risk the safety of passengers and the work force.

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Commons Hansard
27 Jan 2010

Health Services: Reciprocal Arrangements

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date the reciprocal agreement for medical cover with (a) the Channel Islands and (b) the Isle of Man was terminated; and if he will make a statement. [313527]

Gillian Merron, Minister of State, Department of Health: The Government ended its agreement with the Channel Islands on 31 March 2009, and is ending its agreement with the Isle of Man on 1 April 2010, as they do not represent value for money for the United Kingdom taxpayer and travel insurance is widely available. Tourists will continue to receive free accident and emergency treatment. However, they will now be expected to have insurance to cover the cost of other treatment.

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Commons Hansard
27 Jan 2010

Probation

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he plans to take to increase the level of contact time between probation staff and offenders. [312664]

Maria Eagle, Minister of State, Ministry of Justice and Government Equalities Office: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is taking a number of actions to increase the amount of contact time between probation staff and offenders. These include:

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Commons Hansard
27 Jan 2010

National Offender Management Service

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the merits of proposals to set up separate operational arms in the National Offender Management Service. [312662]

Maria Eagle, Minister of State, Ministry of Justice and Government Equalities Office: As part of the restructure of the Ministry of Justice in 2008, a single NOMS delivery organisation has been created to join together and streamline headquarters, and deliver prison and probation services more effectively. This delivery arm is an executive agency. The expectations on prisons and probation are unchanged: to protect the public and reduce reoffending.

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will take steps to increase the number of staff at the National Offender Management Service HQ who have a background in probation. [312663]

Maria Eagle: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) fully recognises the benefits of using the specialist skills of probation staff in appropriate posts. Where there is a business need for a particular post to be filled by someone with a probation service employment background, NOMS headquarters groups may second or advertise externally, in line with NOMS and civil service recruitment policy.

NOMS has recently obtained special permission from the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners for secondments from probation services to last for up to three years, rather than the two years normally allowed by the Commissioners' Recruitment Principles. Certain senior posts in the regional teams within NOMS headquarters are now reserved for probation service personnel on secondment. In addition, NOMS is developing a facility for vacant posts, where appropriate, to be simultaneously advertised internally to Ministry of Justice employees, and as secondment opportunities to probation service employees.

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Commons Hansard
25 Jan 2010

Liquefied Petroleum Gas: Distribution

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if his Department will take further steps to ensure more efficient delivery of liquefied petroleum gas to customers whose supplies have been affected by the recent severe weather. [312665]

Mr. David Kidney, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Energy and Climate Change: The distributors of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) have been working hard in challenging conditions to supply customers during the worst cold weather experienced for 29 years, particularly in remote parts of the country. My officials have worked closely with the LPG industry to make a robust case for the temporary relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers' hours and working-time rules. Relaxing drivers' hours is very much a 'last-resort' option that can only be considered once all else has failed and once contingency plans have been fully implemented. I welcome the decision made by the Transport Minister to agree to the cases for the temporary relaxation given to LPG drivers over two weeklong periods between 11 and 25 January. The Department will continue to work with fuel distributors in relation to resilience of supply chains.

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Commons Hansard
25 Jan 2010

Badman Report

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): What assessment he has made of the accuracy of data used to produce the Badman Report. [312583]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ms Diana R. Johnson): Graham Badman's review of home education collected a limited amount of qualitative and quantitative evidence from local authorities about home-educated children in their area. The data were used to produce an estimate of the population of home educators known to local authorities of about 20,000, which is consistent with estimates produced in an earlier report by York Consulting entitled "The Prevalence of Home Education in England".

Mr. Anderson: I thank the Minister for that reply, but does she acknowledge that my constituents and many others feel that the data that were pulled together meant that Badman got this badly wrong, particularly when he said that children who were home educated were twice as likely to go on the at-risk register? They believe that that information means that they, as parents, are being scapegoated and that a bad decision might be made. May we have a reassurance that that will not happen?

Ms Johnson: May I first pay tribute to my hon. Friend for the keen interest that he has been taking in home education and make it clear once again that Graham Badman's report is about home education?

On the safeguarding data, Graham Badman asked for information from local authorities about child protection plans, because they are the only evidence of rigorous multi-agency processes that show no bias or subjectivity in relation to safeguarding. Seventy-four of 152 local authorities responded, which covers over 55 per cent. of the local authorities in the country, and Graham Badman found a higher incidence of home-educated children in those child protection plans. I reiterate that there are safeguarding provisions in place generally in our law. The report is predominantly about education.

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Commons Hansard
18 Jan 2010

Aminatou Haidar

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Moroccan authorities against the (a) deportation from Western Sahara of Aminatou Haidar and (b) prevention of Saharawi human rights activists from travelling abroad. [310700]

Mr. Ivan Lewis, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office: My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, discussed the case of Aminatou Haidar with the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Mr. Taieb Fassi Fihri, on 11 December 2009. His officials in London, our embassy in Rabat and the UK's Mission to the UN in New York, also discussed the case with their Moroccan counterparts throughout the period Ms Haidar was on hunger strike. The Government are pleased that the situation has been resolved. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials will continue to monitor the human dimension of the Western Sahara conflict and encourage greater transparency on human rights issues by all parties to the conflict.

We have not received any representations regarding Saharawi human rights activists being prevented from travelling abroad.

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Commons Hansard
14 Jan 2010

Electric vehicles

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): The development of electrical vehicles in the north-east has been a huge boost for manufacturers such as Tegrel, which is producing a charging station in my constituency. Will the Minister assure me that the Government and the regional development agency One NorthEast will continue to support such work; and that we will support RDAs, unlike the Opposition?

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Ian Lucas): The north-east is a real hub of low-carbon technology development in the automotive sector. Nissan and Smith Electric Vehicles, which I have already visited, are at the forefront, and the investment at Nissan's battery factory is going ahead. I should be very interested in seeing the company to which my hon. Friend refers.

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Commons Hansard
14 Jan 2010

Pleural Plaques - Departmental responsibility

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): What recent discussions he has had with the Ministry of Justice on his Department's potential financial responsibilities for people with pleural plaques. [310577]

The Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills (Mr. Pat McFadden): I have had no recent discussions with the Ministry of Justice on this subject, but I understand that this is a long-running issue and that hon. Members are keen to see it brought to a conclusion.

Mr. Anderson: I thank the Minister for that response. He must also be aware of the huge support for this matter across the House, as demonstrated by the fact that a private Member's Bill on the subject was passed almost unanimously here and has gained support in the House of Lords. Also, an attempt by insurers in Scotland last week to prevent the Scottish law from being changed so that people could get compensation was decisively turned down. Surely some financial responsibility must be taken, at least for the people who worked for British Shipbuilders and other previously nationalised organisations. My right hon. Friend's Department and the MOJ also have a moral responsibility to get together and sort this out.

Mr. McFadden: As I said, I do understand that hon. Members are keen to reach a conclusion on this subject. I also understand that a meeting has been scheduled to take place shortly in which my hon. Friend and others will meet the Secretary of State for Justice and the Prime Minister. The Government are aware that we need to respond not only to this but to issues relating to other respiratory conditions.

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Commons Hansard
13 Jan 2010

Energy Security

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied that most of that coal will come from places such as Russia, where 6,000 miners a year are dying, so we are getting energy at the cost of people's lives? That would not have been the case if his former Government had not done away with the best mining industry in the world.

Greg Clark: There will be a future for UK coal within that, but it depends on a number of factors. The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right that we import a lot of coal from Russia. Coal is clearly more readily available and easily stocked than gas, so it contributes to energy security. I share his concerns about the safety situation there. We want to ensure that we operate using supplies that come from sources we can be proud of and confident about. I hope that in due course we can have more of a source of supply from this country as well. However, that depends on making progress on carbon capture and storage. If we subscribe, rightly, to a set of emissions targets that require CO2 emissions to come down by 80 per cent. by 2050, we will need to make a breakthrough on CCS if we are to able to use coal as an addition to our diversity of supply.

+++

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Charles Hendry: I hope to be forgiven if I do not give way, because we have been very short of time in this debate. If there is time towards the end of my contribution,

I most certainly will give way, because I know that the hon. Gentleman has been here, waiting very patiently, throughout the debate. In fact, as he has been here so patiently throughout, I shall give way.

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): The hon. Gentleman talks about the lost years, but what about the lost years of the 1980s, when the Conservative party devastated the coal industry, privatised the utilities and left us with the mess that we are in now?

Charles Hendry: I knew that my instincts were right: I should not have given way to the hon. Gentleman. In the 1980s, we set the market framework that delivered the cheapest energy prices in Europe for the next 20 years. The model has worked, and it has been pretty robust up to now.

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Commons Hansard
12 Jan 2010

Electric Cables

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will bring forward proposals for regulations with the aim of protecting the public from risks associated with the installation of (a) dangerous and (b) sub-standard electrical cables. [304594]

Ian Lucas, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Electrical cables are currently regulated for the purposes of safety by European legislation. The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations make it an offence to supply unsafe electrical equipment such as electrical cables. The Regulations are enforced by the HSE with regard to products supplied exclusively to business (e.g. for professional installation in business and domestic environments) and by Trading Standards for products where the supply is to consumers.

Installation is regulated for domestic situations by Communities and Local Government Building Regulations and for non-domestic situations by the HSE Electricity At Work Regulations.

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Commons Hansard
7 Jan 2010

Northern Rail: Rolling Stock

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent discussions his Department has had on the future of Northern Rail's Pacer (Class 142) rolling stock. [309498]

Chris Mole, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport: The Department for Transport has been in recent discussion with Northern Rail regarding their proposals for delivering additional capacity through the High Level Output Specification (HLOS). These discussions which are currently ongoing have included the totality of their rolling stock fleet including class 142s.

The recently announced electrification programme in the North West will also allow some class 142 Pacer vehicles that operate on these lines to be replaced with electric trains.

In addition, the Department meets with each of the Rolling Stock Leasing Companies (ROSCOs) on a regular basis to discuss their respective portfolio of rolling stock vehicles, which includes class 142 Pacer vehicles.

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Commons Hansard
6 Jan 2010

Pleural plaques compensation

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): It is now 27 months since people suffering from pleural plaques were denied compensation by the House of Lords. Can I ask the Prime Minister what work is being done across the whole of Government to redress this, and when we can expect some progress?

The Prime Minister: As my hon. Friend knows, a meeting of legal advisers took place in the past few weeks. I am meeting a group of MPs - I think he is part of it - in the next week. I hope to get a resolution to what is a very dreadful disease - asbestosis - and what we can do about it, and also to deal with the problem that arises from pleural plaques.

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Commons Hansard
5 Jan 2010

North East: Neuromuscular Services

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health

  1. whether he has had discussions with the North East Specialised Commissioning Group on a review of neuromuscular services in that region;
  2. if he will take steps to ensure that vulnerable patients with muscular dystrophy in the North East have access to NHS-funded muscular dystrophy care advisers.

Ann Keen, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health: No discussions have been held with the North East Specialised Commissioning Group (NESCG) on a review of neuromuscular services in that region.

It is the responsibility of the NESCG to ensure the provision of services for neuromuscular dystrophy patients in that region, including access to national health service funded muscular dystrophy care advisers.

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Commons Hansard
16 Dec 2009

Teesside Steel Industry

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): It is an honour to be here with you today, Mr. Cook, and I congratulate my hon. Friend and praise him for the great work that he and other Teesside MPs have done on this issue.

The reality is that we need to keep this plant going. If we are ever to deliver the low-carbon economy that we have promised for the north-east, and develop things such as underground gasification of coal, carbon capture and storage, and sequestration of CO2, we need to develop skills, not lose them. We should not consign them to history as has happened to so much of our industry in the north.

Dr. Kumar: I agree with every word and thank my hon. Friend for his support. He must have read the rest of my speech, as he is way ahead. I concur with the tenor of everything he said.

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Commons Hansard
15 Dec 2009

Badman Report (Blaydon)

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): I, too, wish to present a petition on the Badman report, on behalf of Julie Taylor and others from the Blaydon constituency who wish to express the genuine concerns about the report. They specifically request the Secretary of State to withdraw or not bring forward the various measures set out in the report. I am grateful for the opportunity to present this petition tonight.

The petition states:

The Petition of persons resident in the Blaydon parliamentary constituency,

Declares that they are concerned about the recommendations of the Badman Report, which suggests closer monitoring of home educators, including a compulsory annual registration scheme and right of access to people's homes for local authority officials; further declares that the Petitioners believe the recommendations are based on a review that was extremely rushed, failed to give due consideration to the evidence, failed to ensure that the data it collected were sufficiently robust, and failed to take proper account of the existing legislative framework.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families either not to bring forward, or to withdraw, proposed legislative measures providing for tighter registration and monitoring of children educated at home in the absence of a thorough independent inquiry into the condition and future of elective home education in England; but instead to take the steps necessary to ensure that the existing Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities are properly implemented, learning from current best practice, in all local authorities in England.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

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Commons Hansard
14 Dec 2009

Electrical cables

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to protect the public from the risks posed by installation of electrical cables which do not meet approved standards. [304007]

Jonathan Shaw, Minister of State, Regional Affairs and Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions: I have been asked to reply.

Where examples of electrical cables which do not meet the recognised approved standards are reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) the matter is investigated by inspectors who enforce, among other supply legislation, the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 (EESR). Inspectors have the power to prohibit further supply of electrical cables whose foreseeable use represents a risk of serious harm to persons. Where defective products are already in the supply chain action can be taken to require suppliers to warn and advise their customers.

Examples of defective electric cables imported from Asia are currently under investigation. More generally, inspectors will shortly be carrying out an exercise to examine samples of cables in use on construction sites in the UK. Depending on the findings, besides prohibiting the supply and use of any found to be seriously defective, HSE will propose a wider market surveillance project to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on the supply of cables into the industrial and domestic market.

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Commons Hansard
14 Dec 2009

NHS: Finance

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much each NHS Trust and NHS Foundation Trust in England received for the provision of private patient services in the latest period for which figures are available. [304723]

Mr. Mike O'Brien, Minister of State, Department of Health: The information requested has been placed in the Library

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Commons Hansard
14 Dec 2009

NHS Business Services Authority

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to withhold approval from the NHS Business Services Authority for the outsourcing of its IT and Dental Services contract until a full appraisal of the in-house option is conducted. [305359]

Mr. Mike O'Brien, Minister of State, Department of Health: On 27 November 2009, Ministers approved the business case for the award of the contract for the supply of dental contract support services and IT infrastructure to the NHS Business Services Authority ("the Authority") to Capita Group Plc. The Authority expects to sign the contract on 14 December 2009 subject to final approval by the board of the Authority on 10 December 2009.

In preparing its business case, the Authority examined its existing in-house capability and considered it was not capable of delivering the full set of business requirements set out in that case. In the circumstances, a further appraisal of the in-house option would not be appropriate.

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Commons Hansard
14 Dec 2009

'Tobin' Tax

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): I thank the Prime Minister for the tremendous support he has given to my early-day motion 1396, from last year, on the so-called Tobin tax-an example of how the few can be made to help the many. Will he also support a new early-day motion on the same lines, about an Ashcroft tax?

The Prime Minister: It is very strange that the Conservative party automatically-almost without thinking about it-came out against a global financial transaction tax. Such a tax is now being discussed in all countries in Europe and investigated by the International Monetary Fund, and the EU is to produce a report on it. Certain people around the world who are esteemed in the academic profession as economists are supporting this, but, as a reflex action, the Conservative party is against it. The Conservatives are interested in one form of tax-that is, tax avoidance. It is about time we heard whether the deputy chairman of the Conservative party, after 10 years, has honoured his promise to pay tax in the UK.

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Commons Hansard
9 Dec 2009

NHS: Finance

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the budget is of each NHS trust and NHS foundation trust hospital in England for 2009-10. [304892]

Mr. Mike O'Brien, Minister of State, Department of Health: The forecast turnover for the 2009-10 financial year of every NHS trust in England is published in the most recent edition of The Quarter, which can be found on the Department's website:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsStatistics/DH_087335

Information on NHS foundation trust plans for the 2009-10 financial year can be found on the website of Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts at:

www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk/home/our-publications/browse-category/reports-nhs-foundation-trusts/reviews-nhs-foundation-trusts-an-4

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Commons Hansard
9 Dec 2009

Listed Sporting Events

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): My hon. Friend is right when he says that Sky has done a lot for rugby league. Does he not really believe, though, that Sky has done a lot for Sky? That is what this debate is about. It wants to do even more for Sky by taking this cup final away. We should not allow that.

Mr. Mike Hancock (in the Chair): That is a bit of a wet ball, but back to you, Mr. Hoyle.

Mr. Hoyle: I totally agree. My differences with Sky in relation to rugby league were many years ago. The one thing that I have always been committed to is the game of rugby league. I will always remain strongly supportive of the game at both amateur and professional level. This is about balance. Sky is doing the championship games; it is doing the premiership and the super league. Every week, it is rolling out good matches and good coverage. However, when it comes to the cup final, the exciting part, bringing teams together, we must ensure that the finest game in the world is available on free-to-view television.

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Commons Hansard
8 Dec 2009

Schools: Electricity

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what third-party approvals are required when electrical cables and wires are installed in newly-built school premises. [304006]

Mr. Vernon Coaker, Minister of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families: There is no legal requirement to obtain third party approval of electrical wires and cables. However competent electrical consultants would specify the use of cables branded BASEC and approved by the British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC).

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Commons Hansard
7 Dec 2009

Pipeline Capacity

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): How much oversized should the pipelines be?

Greg Clark: They should be adequate for the potential in their area. The Secretary of State has talked about having clusters for CCS. It is possible to make an assessment of how many such future plants might be able to make use of the pipelines. It is wrong to spend public money on building pipelines that will be adequate only for the demonstration plant and then to have to repeat installation if the process is successful. That is a bonkers approach; it is a waste of public money.

Mr. Anderson: In Select Committee discussions it was said that, if this were a road, it would be either a B road or a motorway. They are hugely different. Has the hon. Gentleman costed his proposal?

Greg Clark: I am delighted that the hon. Gentleman is asking me questions that presuppose that I will be in office. I am saying, assuming that this project works and looking to the future, that it will be rather ridiculous if the Public Accounts Committee holds an inquiry in several years and asks why on earth the Secretary of State consented to spending public money on building a pipeline network that was not adequate for the coal plants that he hoped would be able to access it in future. That is a waste. Will the Secretary of State make clear the criteria for the clusters of CCS that have been promised-but which are mysteriously absent from the Bill? Many parts of the country are keenly awaiting the answer to that.

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Commons Hansard
7 Dec 2009

NHS IT Programme

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): In conducting the review, will the Secretary of State also look at the business service authority's plans to outsource its IT infrastructure? In doing that, it has ignored the views of the work force about where the greatest savings could be made.

Andy Burnham, Secretary of State, Department of Health: My hon. Friend raises a separate issue, and I promise to come back to him with a detailed reply. It is important in the coming period for the NHS to make savings from back office functions. That is the right thing to do in the current climate, so that we can put every possible support into the NHS front line. I will give my hon. Friend a detailed answer on shared business services.

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Commons Hansard
30 Nov 2009

Caffeine: Young People

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will commission research on the possible effects on the behaviour of children and young people of high caffeine intake. [301214]

Ann Keen, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health: The Food Standards Agency advises that children and other persons sensitive to caffeine should consume products with significant amounts of caffeine (such as coffee and energy drinks) in moderation.

The Food Standards Agency advise us that they have no current plans to investigate the possible behavioural effects of caffeine in children, in part due to the ethical concerns around this type of research in children.

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Commons Hansard
30 Nov 2009

HM Courts Service: Manpower

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) by what proportion HM Courts Service plans to reduce its numbers of front-line staff in 2010; and if he will make a statement; [300282]

(2) for what reasons HM Courts Service has proposed a reduction in the number of its staff in courts. [300283]

Bridget Prentice, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice: The Ministry of Justice has recently agreed its 2010-11 budget with HMCS as part of the established concordat process.

Detailed business and operational planning for 2010-11 is currently under way but specific workforce plans are not yet available. Therefore it is not possible to state what change in staff numbers if any may be necessary.

HMCS' ongoing priority is to maintain support delivery of high quality front-line services for victims, witnesses and all court users.

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Commons Hansard
26 Nov 2009

National Probation Trust Programme: Expenditure

Mr. Dave Anderson (Blaydon): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) budget and (b) projected actual cost of the National Probation Trust Programme was for 2009-10. [300280]

Maria Eagle, Minister of State, Ministry of Justice and Government Equalities Office: The information requested is shown in the following table:

  Resource total (£)
Forecast outturn3,361,184
Annual budget3,611,184
Forecast variance250,000

Mr. Dave Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what total budget was set for the National Probation Trust Programme over the lifetime of the programme; and what his latest estimate is of the total projected cost of the programme. [300281]

Maria Eagle: The allocation of funds to the Probation Trusts Programme has been managed on an annual basis. The annual differences in allocation reflect the changes to the scale and scope of the programme in each of the three years.

Throughout its lifetime the programme has consistently come in under budget; this is as a consequence of in-year changes to the scope of the programme.

The total budget allocation for the Probation Trust Programme is £11.095 million; the latest estimated cost over the three years is £8.346 million.

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Reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO